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ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR INSTRUMENT?


Will L

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So, the question is: Have you ever had a violin (or other instrument) that served your musical and technical needs so well that you were happy, or content, or saw no need to continue looking for a better violin or better adjustment? And a follow-up question: Did your state of contentment last very long?

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Will - Maybe you still remember about my instrument last time when I ask so much question about soundpost...After the last adjustment dated back to april this year, the sound has gradually getting closer to my expectation and I must say I'm now very satisfied with my violin, and not seeing any need to improve it further. Even with few months old strings on it, it still respond very well and it's actually getting easier to play.

The only thing I always wonder is that it doesn't sound loud under the ear nor in close distance or playing in small room, but when move to large room with high ceiling, it sound as if the violin open up its potential - wide dynamic range, range or colors, as well as big increase in power, and the sound is resonating the space. However, if I'm playing in the same size of a large room, but with dead acoustic (lecture hall, for example), my violin sounded small and weak. Also it's not suitable to play in loud band due to its softer sound under the ear, I struggle so much to listen to myself. So in a way, I'm very satisfied with my violin for classical setting, and going to invest a powerful violin regardless of sound projection, for other stuffs than classical setting. I do play some jazz and pop stuffs quite a bit alongside with my primary focus which is still classical music.

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I bought my fiddle from Martin Swan a little over 3 years ago. It's the only thing I own that I might find difficult to replace. I'm sure there must be other fiddles that would suit me as well and sound as good, but I'm not sure I could find one I could afford. And yet it decidedly wasn't expensive, as violins go.

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I have an instrument that I play when I perform in public, which I always return to but I don't use it for teaching because the children sometimes accidentally hit my violin with their bows, and the instrument is too bright for little ears. So I don't use my best fiddle for teaching.

I'm curious: would you use it for practice? For playing informally with friends?

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Will, with your refined playing ability, and hearing, one wonders if you could ever be satisfied. Us mere mortals do not have such refined tastes as yours. Would you be happy with a Strad and stop looking for the "perfect" instrument. Mind you if it were a viola, you'd never be satisfied :P

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So, the question is: Have you ever had a violin (or other instrument) that served your musical and technical needs so well that you were happy, or content, or saw no need to continue looking for a better violin or better adjustment? And a follow-up question: Did your state of contentment last very long?

Yes.

Unfortunately the contentment lasted only a few minutes as I had to return the Auer Strad and alas could not steal or otherwise keep it in my possession.

As Jacob Saunders might say, enigmatically, "tis better to have loved and lost..." (I forget the rest of the quote)

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Yes.

Unfortunately the contentment lasted only a few minutes as I had to return the Auer Strad and alas could not steal or otherwise keep it in my possession.

As Jacob Saunders might say, enigmatically, "tis better to have loved and lost..." (I forget the rest of the quote)

Interesting that you mention the "Auer" because 40 years ago, I was told it wasn't very good! Maybe somebody was able to improve it. :-)

But seriously, Steve, have you ever had a violin that worked so well for you over a period of time that you saw no need to improve it by adjustment or get another violin? It sounds as if you would have to answer "no" to my question.

I asked the question the way I did for several reasons. For one, many of us have played great violins for short periods and naturally they seem perfect enough because they are usually so much better than what we are playing on a daily basis. I'm more interested in how we feel about the violins that we use to earn a living. Also, I directed the question to professionals, because obviously students are at a stage in their career where they are most likely going through a series of mediocre instruments. By contrast, a professional has probably settled into one violin and is either happy with it or is merely putting up with it. I'm not talking about a "perfect" violin, Pebbles.

Also, I didn't give any definitions, or consider that every violinist is going to have different tastes, different needs, or different standards. My question speaks for itself; I've tried to add to it but when I do I have to start adding qualifications.

.

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I bought my fiddle from Martin Swan a little over 3 years ago. It's the only thing I own that I might find difficult to replace. I'm sure there must be other fiddles that would suit me as well and sound as good, but I'm not sure I could find one I could afford. And yet it decidedly wasn't expensive, as violins go.

What of Martin himself, though -- do you feel he is irreplaceable or that he played you like a fiddle? Discuss.

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i'm afraid this hasn't happened yet...so, just trying to work with what i have.

Thanks for registering your comment. I have essentially the same point of view, and eventually want to present some sort of organized thought on the subject. But I'm trying to find out if I'm out in the woods all alone or if there are a substantial number of violinists who go through their lives in a mildly (they're lucky if it's mild) dissatisfied state.

My answers to my own questions are, "Yes", and "3 months". But considering I had a career that lasted 50+ years, to have a violin that gave exactly what I was looking for for only 3 months, that's a sad commentary.

My equivalent violin to your experience with the "Auer" was the "Baltic" del Gesu. I seriously thought of skipping to South America with it. After playing it my stomach was upset for weeks when I had to go back to my own violin. For a few years I refused to play on top violins because of that experience.

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Thanks for registering your comment. I have essentially the same point of view, and eventually want to present some sort of organized thought on the subject. But I'm trying to find out if I'm out in the woods all alone or if there are a substantial number of violinists who go through their lives in a mildly (they're lucky if it's mild) dissatisfied state.

My answers to my own questions are, "Yes", and "3 months". But considering I had a career that lasted 50+ years, to have a violin that gave exactly what I was looking for for only 3 months, that's a sad commentary.

My equivalent violin to your experience with the "Auer" was the "Baltic" del Gesu. I seriously thought of skipping to South America with it. After playing it my stomach was upset for weeks when I had to go back to my own violin. For a few years I refused to play on top violins because of that experience.

I can relate to that feeling. There was many a time I was kept up at night thinking of great instruments and bows.

When I first became seriously interested in getting a concert instrument, I was sucked into the world of violins very quickly and I was up day after day, researching makers and prices ranges. My teacher had a fine contemporary instrument he was trying that I absolutely loved at the time. Fortunately or unfortunately, the shop couldn't sell it to me because if my teacher decided against buying it, it was to go to someone else; however, this set me on the plane to Toronto to hit the shops and seriously search for a good instrument.

Remenyi House of Music is where I found my first great instrument, a Janos Spiegel of 1926. Since becoming fascinated by Hungarian instruments 3 years ago, my latest purchase (received as of last Friday) was a violin by Samuel Nemessanyi. It's probably the closest I'll get to owning a Guarnerius, but in all honesty, I feel much more proud, as a Hungarian, to own a Nemessanyi.

Finally, to answer the forum question: yes, I am satisfied with my instrument.

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